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Investigating the potential role of a human long non-coding RNA with ‘accelerated evolution’ in neurodevelopment, maternal adversity and cancer

Project Description

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a recently discovered group of molecules with a wide range of cellular functions so far identified. This project focuses on the in-depth characterization of two lncRNAs encoded by a genomic locus found to have undergone ‘accelerated evolution’ in the human lineage. These lncRNAs may have roles in both neurodevelopment and neuro-oncology and evaluating the underlying mechanisms will be a key element of this project. Further project details can be found at

Further information

The student would be required to live in the UK and within commuting distance of The Open University in Milton Keynes.
Applicants will be expected to hold a degree (2:1 classification or higher) in biological sciences, molecular biology, neuroscience or other relevant subject.

Informal enquiries relating to the project should be directed to Dr. Francesco Crea () or Dr. Christopher Heath ().

How to Apply

Please send an email with your CV, a completed application form and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date) to
Application form:

Closing date: 30th April 2019

Interview date: Interviews will be arranged promptly after the closing date and can be conducted via Skype if appropriate.

LHCS holds Athena Swan Bronze Status. We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Funding Notes

This three-year research studentship is funded by the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at The Open University and provides a stipend of £14,777 per year. All academic fees (at UK/EU level) are covered.

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